In a move that is being viewed as a ‘balancing act’ between different factions, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday appointed Kamal Nath as the Madhya Pradesh Congress unit president and Jyotiraditya Scindia as the chief of the campaign committee in the State that is headed for polls later this year.Former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh, who has just returned to politics after a six-month long sabbatical to complete 3,100 km of Narmada parikrama (circumbulation) yatra, hasn’t been given any responsibility yet.While the Congress wants to project a united face of the party in the State with Kamal Nath at the helm, it is seeking to put up a strong campaign against three-term BJP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan with Mr. Scindia as the head of the campaign committee.
The Higher Education Department in Odisha has decided that a special committee would probe the allegations regarding errors and irregularities in the results of second semester examination of Plus III degree courses of Berhampur University even as the students continue their agitation over the issue.On Thursday, students from five colleges of Berhampur and its outskirts demonstrated in front of the administrative block of Berhampur University demanding immediate rectification of their results.Meeting with officialsSpeaking to media persons, Vice-Chancellor Rajendra Prasad Das said a delegation of the university had been called to Bhubaneswar by the State Higher Education Minister for discussion in the matter. The delegation included the V-C, Registrar, PG Council Chairman and Controller of Examinations. Berhampur MLA Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik, Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahy and senior officials of the department attended the meeting.Four-member panel After reviewing the allegations brought up by the students, the Higher Education Department decided to get the issue probed by a special four-member committee, said the V-C.The committee will visit Berhampur University on August 4 for an on-the-spot enquiry. The committee will file its report to the Ministry by August 10. Based on the report, the department will direct the university authorities regarding future action related to the matter.
Practice makes perfect for PH booter Belgira Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ramirez said he was invited to the luncheon in the presence of some cabinet members where Go, who represented President Rodrigo Duterte, and Cayetano inquired about the status of 2019 Manila Games.“I was asked if there’s still a chance to push through and I told them that I have no problem with it (hosting),” said Ramirez.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIn a board meeting on Wednesday, Ramirez said the PSC board, which is also composed of commissioners Ramon Fernandez, Charles Maxey, Arnold Agustin and Celia Kiram, gave the go-signal for the hosting.“We were very upbeat and happy that there is a big hope of holding the 2019 SEA Games,” said the PSC chief. Barring any major obstacle, the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines will most likely push through as planned.Presidential assistant Christopher Lawrence Go and Department of Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano breathed life into the country’s hosting of the biennial sportsfest in a meeting with Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez on Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Ramirez said he asked Fernandez to reconcile with Cojuangco in the spirit of unity and cooperation as the PSC board forms a partnership with the POC in the hosting.Ramirez said Fernandez has thrown his full support and even offered Cebu as a venue for equestrian.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ “The POC welcomes the government support for the hosting and will defer to Secretary Cayetano to announce it. The POC sees the support as a unifying force for Philippine sports,” said POC president Peping Cojuangco.Ramirez, however, added there’s a few more concerns that has to be settled as Sen. Cayetano tries to discuss the positive development with the Philippine Olympic Committee.A reliable source said Cayetano would be named chair of the local organizing committee, replacing Senator Migz Zubiri.The government initially declined to host the 2019 Games, citing the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi City.POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr. appealed to Duterte to reconsider the decision before the deadline on Aug. 18 during the SEAG Federation Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur.ADVERTISEMENT
MANILA, Philippines–Back-to-back defending champion Petron got off to a rousing start after sinking newcomer Marinerang Pilipina, 25-21, 25-16, 25-10, in the Philippine Superliga All Filipino Conference Thursday at Imus City Sports Complex.Except for a brief juncture in the second set, the Blaze Spikers were never threatened as they showcased their superior firepower over the Marineras, who slumped to 0-2.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Up to 70 Russian athletes could face doping charges View comments LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Mika Reyes, who is turning 25 Friday, led Petron with 10 points, most of them in the middle of the second frame when Petron started to right its course against a resurging Marinera.After keeping the opening set close, Marinera stormed to a 12-9 lead in the second. But it hardly bothered Petron, slowly closing the gap before Reyes scored on back-to-back drops to give the Blaze Spikers a 15-13 lead they never give up.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics
I’m pretty interested to see these results especially after the OKC Dave preseason survey in which we predicted 8.5 wins (which does not seem like a lot of confidence).As always, results plus commentary will be posted on Wednesday.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! We are 25 percent finished with the season. This marker, more than any other throughout the year, is the one that I always find most startling. The season is a quarter over. Do what?!OSU is 2-1 (sort of) after a tricky three-game non-conference schedule, and the Big 12 looks like dog poo so far. So the question today is whether you are more confident, less confident or equally confident in OSU winning the Big 12 as you were when the season started three weeks ago.Poll Q: I am _____ confident OSU can win the Big 12 after three games than/as I was at the start of the season.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 20, 2016
New Delhi: A Delhi court Thursday extended till October 3 the judicial custody of former finance minister P Chidambaram in connection with the INX Media corruption case. Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar also allowed medical examination of Chidambaram. The court extended the judicial custody of Chidambaram after the CBI sought extension of the veteran Congress leader’s judicial remand. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, sought extension of the judicial custody and said there has been no change of circumstance from the day he was first sent to jail. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, opposed the investigative agency’s plea to extend his judicial custody. Sibal moved an application on behalf of Chidambaram seeking regular medical checkup and adequate supplementary diet during judicial custody in Tihar Jail. He said that the 73-year old Congress leader is suffering from various ailments like coronary artery disease, hypertension, impaired glycemia and has lost weight during the custody, to which he was sent on September 5. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, also appearing for Chidambaram, said the former minister had a chair in the hall outside his cell which has been taken away. “He can only sit on bed. He also has not been given a pillow”. Allow him to be examined at AIIMS, Sibal said. “Health of any inmate is of concern. Whatever is permissable in law, would be done by the jail authorities,” Mehta said. The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as the finance minister. Thereafter, the Enforcement Directorate lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2017. Chidambaram, who was Union home minister as also finance minister during the UPA rule from 2004 to 2014, was arrested by the CBI on August 21 from his Jor Bagh residence.
Smoke rises from the Amazon fire engulfing Sao Paulo city even as forest fires rage across the Indian countryside. Crops of forest dwellers of Araku valley in Andhra Pradesh are being damaged and the output of natural honey in the same area dropped drastically. These are all telling signs of collateral consequences of the struggle for sustenance, as well as development and economic prosperity. While Amazon fires have suddenly caught the attention of the entire world, quietly in our own backyard, illegal and indiscreet mining by politicians has been polluting Araku forests, causing immense harm to crops and health of tribal people. Experts say that radiation from mobile towers disorients honey-bees; they forget the location of their queen-bee and hive. Annual production of natural honey has fallen from 600 tonnes to 150 tonnes. No doubt, deforestation, mining, and development of roads and communication are serious problems for the environment in India. But, the devastation of Amazon tropical forests is an international calamity. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyThe impregnable canopy of the largest rainforest of the world in Amazon is on fire; over 70,000 incidents so far this year, its smoke choking even cities like Sao Paulo a thousand kilometres away from Brasilia. There is an outcry across the world since this carbon sink absorbs a good part of the CO2 spewed by humanity and releases oxygen. Precious animal and plant species are getting extinguished. Yet, considering rainforest protection as an impediment to development, the conservative President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, who came to power in January this year, brazenly advocates deforestation for the sustenance and prosperity of his people. Also Read – The future is here!Not surprisingly, at this juncture of international criticism, this ‘Trump of the Tropics’, gets an endorsement from Donald Trump. Contrary to scientific cautions of global warming, for them, climate change is a natural phenomenon without any need for human intervention. Thus, Bolsonaro not only rebuked the alarm raised by his own environmental agency and sacked its Director but has also diminished its staff and funding, diluted the laws against environmental crimes like illegal logging and mining and got the highly-trained-and-armed forest cops diverted for desk jobs. As a result, there is indiscriminate stripping of the rainforest for agriculture, animal ranching, and mining, apparently serving business interests. Obviously, forest fires have only multiplied. Similarly, fires have increased in neighbouring Bolivia too due to their indulgence in increased burning of forests for the cultivation of crops used for biofuel production. The situation has been aggravated in the dry season. However, human efforts can only put out smaller blazes; it requires heavy rains to dampen the infernos. Since isolated showers of September can only bring small relief, the devastation will continue. Already Amazon forest has lost 20 per cent of its size in recent years to cater to the Trans-Amazonian Highway. Each year, thousands of square miles of it are cut down for cattle grazing and crop production, not only adding to pollution through burning and decaying vegetation but also disrupting the water cycle by allowing water to run off rather than being trapped in soil and vegetation. As a consequence, there is an increased vulnerability to drought in the area and further loss of trees. All this means that there is a heightened release of global warming pollution, leading to a vicious cycle – more fires, more carbon dioxide and more warming. The net result is that the ‘Lungs of the world’ that supplies 20 per cent of earth’s oxygen, will end up with a short supply. India too has faced several critical moments of such nature in the recent past with 13 out of the 15 warmest years and the annual mean temperature rising by 1.2 degrees Celsius. The forest fires were equally harsh. Over 375,000 hectares were burnt in Uttarakhand in 1995, followed by the burning of 80,000 hectares in the Ganga-Yamuna watershed area in 1999. Then, it was 19,000 hectares in Himachal Pradesh in 2010 and two fires in Maharashtra in 2008 and 2010 that damaged some 10,000 hectares. While Uttarakhand continues to face the vagary of fire – 3500 hectares of forests were gutted in the first half of 2018, the vulnerable North East is also witnessing a steady increase in such incidents. In six years till 2017, forest fires increased by 160 per cent in our country. Like elsewhere, over 90 per cent of such fires in India too are caused by humans, deliberately or due to negligence. Jhum cultivation in the North East, that involves clearing patches of land of trees and setting them on fire to add to nutrition of soil is often responsible for spreading the fire to adjacent forests. In Maharashtra, the burning of leaves in the process of collection of fallen mahua flowers for liquor-making and burning of tree stubs to manure cleared fields also make the forests vulnerable to fires. Likewise, pine needles with their inflammable resins in the Himalayan belt and eucalyptus with oil content elsewhere make the forests susceptible to fires. Reasons behind such incidents are varied. And the scientific community across the world has been red-flagging these environmental issues for long. The scientific community has been maintaining that global temperatures are heading towards a rise of over 5 degree Celsius, while the threshold should have been 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels. To get a clear perspective, it is stated that the temperature difference between today’s world and the last ice age is about 5 degrees centigrade. The Paris Agreement is a culmination of all the international efforts to heed to these warnings. As per the Agreement, member countries will have to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and greenhouse emissions have to be reduced by 45 per cent as soon as possible, apart from reaching other more ambitious goals in course of time. The focus should be on transition to renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and management of forests and oceans, etc. But, countries need to transform their economies to be in line with sustainable development goals on their own, without any enforcement. Some countries have taken the issues seriously. In France, 90 per cent of its electricity comes from nuclear, hydro and wind sources and they are going all out to finish with petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. Norway and the Netherlands will do away with such transports by 2025 and 2030 respectively. The Netherlands even wants to cut down its greenhouse gas emissions level by 95 per cent – far exceeding the Paris Agreement goal, by 2050 itself. But, these are only a few countries. The others are caught up in the conundrum of development and protection of the environment. Poor and developing countries feel that those developed countries that are sermonising about common good have already caused enough harm to the environment. The demand is thus for the developed nations to provide them with financial help for investing in clean technology. The pledged contribution of $100 billion to the Green Climate Fund every year should come from them. But, the USA which uses a substantial quantity of oil from the Gulf has pulled out of the Paris Agreement. Although India stands firmly on the issue of climate change, we are quite behind in achieving sustainable development goals. We still don’t have the state action plans ready and even our infrastructure is not strong enough. We are still focussing on coal energy even as 300 million citizens are yet to get a steady supply of electricity. Even crop burning has not been stopped. Green technology and alternative sources of energy are still a distant dream. Further, our poor performance in Global Environment Protection Index – 177 out of 180 countries – only portrays non-seriousness and apathy of our government and their enforcement agencies. It is for this very reason that in Vizag, untreated sewage is being discharged into the sea or water bodies with the alibis of lack of adequate drainage lines or non-optimal functioning of the treatment plants. At the same time, industrial effluents are callously sent to water tanks. Uranium mining in Jaduguda, pollutants dumped by pharma and chemical units in Srikakulam and Vizag areas are serious health issues. APPCB either sits over the complaints or does not bother when the companies do not comply with their notices even after two years, although they have all the powers to revoke their licences. Similarly, the issue of pollution in the operations of Visakhapatnam Port is lingering on for decades without any action in sight. For such governments, forest fires are only lesser issues. Even the Centre is equally culpable. When forest fires increased by 160 per cent, they reduced the spending to prevent them which was Rs 43.85 crore in 2015 reduced down to Rs 34.56 crore in 2017. Nothing noteworthy has been done except creating a satellite-linked tracking system to have a real-time assessment of large fires for alerting the states. But, the techniques of forest staff continue to be rudimentary, as pointed out by the Parliamentary Standing Committee in February 2019. India is a long way from even reaching reasonable levels of compliance of Paris Agreement goals. Yet, as is his tendency for creating illusions, like in matters of black money, employment, economy and corruption, PM Modi has stated at UNESCO headquarters that the target set by the Paris Agreement for reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be reached in the next year-and-a-half itself. It appears to be grossly ‘unrealistic’ when the task on hand is mountainous. It requires hard thinking and real commitment to change over to renewable energy and taking stern action against illegal deforestation, logging and mining gangs. Sustenance through jhum, mahua flowers, etc., cannot be dispensed with but fires need to be prevented. We cannot afford to follow the path of Brazil for development, since for us, ‘Nature is beauty, beauty is happiness and happiness is honey of life’. (Dr. N Dilip Kumar, IPS (retd) is a former Member of Public Grievances Commission, Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)
Raksha Rajya Mantri Shripad Yesso Naik flagged in the Pan India Bicycle rally, as part of Mega Swachhta Pakhawada – 2019, conducted by NCC all across the country on September 27, 2019 at India Gate, New Delhi. RRM congratulated the cadets for their splendid efforts and demonstration to spread awareness about importance of cleanliness. He also appreciated the commitment of National Cadet Corps to ‘Groom Future Leaders’. Highlighting the mass appeal and Pan India footprint, he lauded NCC for its vital contribution in youth empowerment and nation building. Also Read – The Puja carnivalMinister was received by Lieutenant General Rajeev Chopra, AVSM, Director General National Cadet Corps. The DG NCC also complimented the cadets for doing exceptional work towards Swachhata Pakhwada Pan India Rally. The rally coincides with 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the father of the Nation. National Cadet Corps conducted this Pan India Cycle Rally, to spread awareness amongst masses on the importance of cleanliness. Cadet Shalini Sharma of UP Dte who participated in this rally said, “NCC impacted the lives of a large number of citizens of the country. All along the route, we spread the message of cleanliness by cycling and it also became an adventure towards betterment of the nation”. Cycle Rally by NCC cadets commenced on August 10, 19 from various parts of the Country – Guwahati, Kolkata, Puducherry, Trivandrum, Panaji and Jammu in a coordinated manner. This rally covered a distance of 7800 kms and passed through 28 States/ UTs.